With Monday quickly approaching and as we prepare a special evening for the girls in Juvenile Hall, I came across the article published in Capital Culture about our last time with the girls. I realized I never shared it and thought-- why not share some good news. So often we get bombarded with the bad news and we carry the heaviness of it with us throughout the day. Be encouraged to know God is on the move in our midst and we welcome prayers for our time with these girls on Monday night.
There is something special happening across our city where believers are working together to love and serve our community. There is a gathering of women-- young and old-- under the umbrella of "Leading and Loving It". Where local area women in leadership and ministry are gathering to connect and encourage one another and then serve together.
An opportunity arose to bring hope and light into a place deemed as hopeless and dark. The Youth Detention Facility (aka Juvenile Hall) is right around the corner from Capital on Kiefer Blvd. Chaplain Dan Thompson has served there for many years, loving and bringing the message of Jesus to those young people in need. He had the idea to host an event for the young women to feel loved and special. Jackie Guzman, founder of The Glass Slipper, quickly joined forces to make this special day happen. Glass Slipper is a non-profit that provides life-changing programs for girls in foster care and group homes. Then I got thrown in the mix, with the idea of reaching out to other women in leadership throughout our city and voila the planning began. I've heard it said in reference to the church, "we are beautiful when gathered and unstoppable when scattered." I think this opportunity was a perfect combination of both beauty and power. Simultaneously gathered and scattered amongst these young girls-- and what happened was nothing short of miraculous.
At the mention of the event these girls were so excited, they took the time beforehand to come together and make special banners welcoming and thanking these older women. As the girls began to enter the gymnasium-- which had been transformed into a beautiful gathering place-- many of the "walls" began to fall down. They sat and shared tea and desserts with Sacramento area female Christian leaders. The program began and everything was prepared especially for them. A song ewas shared that was written for the girls declaring who they are, dancers danced a prayer dance they wrote filled with hope, powerful testimonies shared through cardboard testimonies and turned into the message of Hope Floats. Pastor Karen Hagan shared a message of hope with the girls with the message of Jeremiah 29:11 weaved through it all. "'For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord. 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Then came the fun fashion show! Models of all ages and sizes walked the center aisle with beautiful clothes the girls could later purchase with certificates they were given from the Glass Slipper boutique.
There were many smiles, tears, laughs, prayers, hands held, hands raised and hope shared. God moved powerfully in the hearts of all the women involved-- young and old, incarcerated and free-- True freedom was encountered by all.
Labels: do something, hope, life-changing, my city, stand up, world:changers